There you are dear, right inside me…

Last night, we heard my love’s dearest friend had made his rainbow journey. He died in his sleep on the morning on his birthday, cause unknown.

He was one of the most kind hearted, sensitive, giving souls I’ve been blessed to know. He wore his heart on his sleeve. When I looked at him, I could see the sweetest little boy inside him.

I don’t know why I say was, because the real truth is, he still is. He still is one of the most kind hearted, sensitive, giving souls I know.

I’ve been crying today, walking the grief journey beside my love.

As much as I miss that green-eyed, guitar-playing boy, I have to keep remembering –  we haven’t really lost him. He’s not really gone, do you know what I mean?

My big brother teaches me so much still from the other side of the rainbow journey. When my brother died, I didn’t lose him. He didn’t disappear. He just stopped using that body of his. He’s still my brother. We still have a relationship. We still talk and laugh. He guides me. He’s just my correspondent from the rainbow journey side.

I’m grieving Justin’s physical presence. I’m grieving that I won’t see him physically at our wedding. But that’s because I’m only looking with shallow eyes.

If I peer into the dim of the tipi, across the haze of the fire smoke, I will see him.

He will be sitting there, green eyes shining, face lit up, light and heart shining like it always does. He’ll be at our wedding, grinning wildly, celebrating madly, telling everyone he loves them like he always does.

If only I look properly, I will truly see what is there in front of us.

Aah, life, you beautiful thing, you have so much to teach me.

This morning my love took us to the river. The wind was ice-speckled from the alpine mountains, and I wrapped Ostara closer to me. He handed me a white blossom, and we threw them as blessings and messages into the water for our dear friend.

I asked for the angels and my brother to surround us, and to see a little door into the rainbow side. For a moment, the door opened. The light shone off the river like a chandalier, and I heard a song as loud and joyful as fairyfolk would make, and I saw Justin, and he was happy. And in my heart of heart and spirit of spirits, I knew he was okay. He was better than okay. He was divine, just like you and me. Things never end, they just change.

Then the moment ended and the door closed, and I blinked my eyes, and I cried my human grief again.

I looked up, and there was a plane above us, nose pointed heavenward, a streak of angel white dancing across the sky from behind it. An upside down Hayley’s Comet, if you will. A reverse shooting star. I touched Chris’ arm, and we both looked up, smiling at our friend.

Things never end, they just change.

I don’t know why so many souls are leaving the world right now.

But I do know if we listen closely enough, and keep our faith deep, and our hearts wide open, we will see the real truth:

We are swimming in an ocean of love.

Sometimes we just forget it – just as the fish forgets it is surrounded by water.

They aren’t leaving us.

They are just changing form.

They are teaching us.

They are helping us remember.

They are opening our hearts.

Our hearts are cracking open, and it’s letting all the light inside.

That might sound blaze, but I’m standing here, typing to you with wet eyes, and a broken heart that is tender and sore and split open…

and all I can still feel and see is the love.

*

We love you Justin.

And if I ever think we’ve ever lost you, please remind me to see you as you are:

in the trees, in the drops of river light, in laughter and in song.

You are in our hearts, in every sense of the word.

There you are.

Right here.


love so big i cannot possibly contain it,

P.S. I don’t know how to tell you that YOU ARE SO LOVED. YOU ARE SO LOVED. YOU ARE SO LOVED.

Please remember this in every aching moment. Loved by SO many and SO much. More than you could possibly contain.

Reminder for Switch Off Sunday

Hola darling hearts!

Happy SoS day!

Consider this your official invitation to switch off this Sunday!

You can switch off for an hour, an afternoon or go the whole unicorn and do ze whole day!

Here’s the Masterlist of SoS glorious things to do to get you dreaming…

This is my last Sunday here in Canberra… In a week’s time me and Starry will be flying into Proserpine… Returning home to stay at last!

So today, my SoS will be filled with:
* pack pack packing… Almost there!
* reading in bed while feeding Starry (Hand Wash Cold by Karen Maizen Miller is amazing!!)
* make some raw choc nut truffles! (blend dates, almonds, cocoa, water & roll in coconut… OM NOM NOM DEEVINE!)
* have afternoon tea with a dear friend to say goodbye

What about you dearest?

How will you spend your luscious SoS?

I’d love to hear your plans!

big switched off love!


This Minimalist Goddess

My cottage has been described before as “warm messy”. It was filled with couches and nooks and a bazillion statues and musical instruments and books. There were paintings on every wall and doo-dads on every surface. And that kind of warm-clutter-messy felt like that was my me-ness. I revelled in it, even though it felt overwhelming and hard to keep clean.

This year though… I’ve been feeling the call to something that kinda scares me.

Something that I joked about as being beige in the past…

Minamalism.

Before Little Mermaid was born, we knew we had to make some actual SPACE in our lives for her to enter. We let go of bags upon bags of clothes and books. Mr Hottie even decided he didn’t want his child transfixed by our large TV, so we donated ours to a community organisation and replaced it with a teeny-tiny one instead. And we thought we were done.

Then three weeks after she was born, we decided to move back home – 2000 kilometres away. We decided to put our house on the market – and needed to make it WAY less warm messy and more warm and spacious to make it yummy and appealing to buyers. My sweet mama came to visit for three weeks to help us with Ostara, and instead of just hanging out with a newborn, we did that AND decluttered and cleaned like we have never done before.

And the more we got rid of?

The more I felt at home.

We sent most of our belongings back to the tropics already, and for the last three months have been living with the barest of essentials.

And you know what?

I just don’t miss our stuff.

Our home feels calm… soothing… relaxing… not overwhelming.

Just functional. Flowing. Good for the heart and soul and dreams.

Here’s what our home looks like right now…

And the boxes we’ve already sent home? All the extra STUFF? I feel like going through it all again and letting it go. Just keeping the minimal, and concentrating on living and loving.

We are moving from a fairly open, large three bedroom modern home to a 1.5 bedroom 100 year old cottage.

And as much as I love colour and warmth and being surrounded by good things,

I want to keep this essence –

of clarity. of space. of openness. of calm.

Once we’re up in our new home, I’ll share photos again as we create our new space… making it filled with the essence my soul is longing for.

I just started reading these two e-books as well:

The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life by Leo Babauta

The Art of Being Minimalist by Everett Bogue

Who woulda thunk it?

This Goddess is becoming a little minimalist.

What about you, gorgeous hottie?

Do you harbour minimalist fantasies?

love you all good,

20 Things I Love About Moving Back to Proserpine

Hola spunky monkies,

It’s less than two weeks before we move home. I know right? TWO WEEKS? How did that come around so quick? Oh, I remember the days when I was counting down from twelve weeks.

On ze weekend we had our Great Big Cupcake Going Away Extravaganza. Wherein we invited co-workers and friends and all their partners, kidlings, mamas and sisters to our place for a cupcake morning tea.

And I didn’t really think that one through – considering we only have one large room in our house that isn’t totally taken out with boxes – this one was only a quarter filled. And it was not looking Home Beautiful by any standards.

But we had oodles of red cupcakes and strawberries to make up for it. And we just kept adding chairs and chairs as more people came. And it ended up being this wild, crazy, noisy mess of love and giggles and sharing. There were kids drawing Godzilla in the kitchen, and half-licked cupcakes wafting around, and Starry was passed around to every person in the room for cuddles, loved every minute of it and then promptly fell asleep in her daddy’s arms, and then her Great-Aunt’s arms.

Perfection.

There were two cards given to me that made me cry that day.

One, from my dear friend Lile, who has been my boss, my Virgoian counterpart and cubicle buddy for seven years.

Your dream has come true. Your heart was always in Proserpine and now you get to finally move back home.

Yes. Yes Yes Yes. Was it always plain to see where my heart belonged?

I’m so grateful for friends who saw that, and now celebrate our dream come true.

And the other, from another Virgoian sweetheart, Mel. She mentored me through the maze of cubicle land and the public service. She rejoices in my hippyness, even though she’s not one (unless you’re talking about the SECRET TIE DYE WEARING HIPPY FAIRY hiding inside her. IT IS THERE, no matter how much she protesteth!)

A week after I told Mel we were moving home, her work offered voluntary redundancies.

And she thought:

Bugger, if Leonie can go and leave cubicle land, and do exactly what she loves, and move wherever she likes… SO CAN I.

So she quit. And she’s going back to university to become a high school teacher.

She’s doing her great big dream. And my heart is huge and wide and full. The thought of Mel being a high school teacher gives me the good kind of shivers. She’s going to be remarkable. She’s going to touch lives, people. She’s going to do what she was born to do.

And now I’m totally tearing up.

It reminded me that we can never really know just how much our own leaps of faith and courage can affect others.

Ahhh… happy, happy days.

Thank you beautiful people.

You have made Canberra.

Me and Starry have been having all day slumber parties since then, in an effort to heal up my mastitis. Ahhhhhh, rest…. that medicine I need to keep learning and taking.

So in honour of adventures to come… I want to share with you the 20 Things I’m Loving About Moving HOME!

1. Mama Ocean. The beaches. The beach we fell in love at, and the beach Chris asked me to marry him at. The beaches that are filled with large rocks. The beaches that are white soft sand. The 70+ islands off the coast. The Great Barrier Reef. The tropical reef just off Horseshoe Bay that me and Chris would snorkel out too.

Yus, there is a kind of magical, mermaidy bliss to moving back to tropical paradise.

2. My sweet, crazy, loving Mama & Daddy.

The wild bushman centaur farmer and his blonde city girl.

I often wondered what these two had in common, but now I realise…

Both of them are utterly in love with children. Their kids are their biggest passion in life. They think children are the most wonderful blessings on earth.

They have taught me well.

And I’m so looking forward to Starry having her crazy-in-love-with-her grandparents just down the road.

3. Our new old home. The 100 year old cottage that we will make our own.

I keep picturing it, thinking of the long lunches we’ll have on the enclosed verandah, where I’ll set up a sweet little play area for Starry, what I’ll cook in the kitchen, the gardens we’ll grow in the backyard…

4. Family Days.

The days where my whole clan comes together on my parent’s farm for food and laughter and games and silliness.

Above is me with requisite fairy wings, my mum’s first husby {and my brother’s dad} and my big sis. Not pictured are my nieces and nephew, grandmama, great aunt, brother, sissy-in-law, dad, mama and sisters. Plus whoever else is added on that day. There are always add-ons. We love extended families that are so extended they go out of the bounds of lineage.

5. No more Christmases via Skype!

I’ve missed countless birthdays, Easters and Christmases since we moved across the other side of the country nine years ago.

NO MORE! HURRAH!

6. Driving that beautiful stretch of road between our cottage in town to my parent’s farm (and Crystalbrook Retreat).

I’ve driven that road so many times since birth that its curves course through me, as familiar as my own hand.

The lush green canefields, the turquoise sky, the blue mountains…

7. My nephew. (and my two nieces!)

Drawing trucks with them on the concrete.

8. Good morning time.

Yars, I think I’ll just wake up, take my sippy cup out to the yard, ride a rocking horse, and hang with the miniature pony.

Coz that’s what we all do.

9. Lake Proserpine. Just up the road. Hanging out on the grass watching the sunsets over the water.

See that pointy mountain on the far right?

Her name is Roma Peak. She’s white and is the solidified core of a volcano!

10. My gran. It’s her 93rd birthday next week.

She puts the GRAND in Grandmother.

She also puts the RIDICULOUSLY DIVINE AND GORGEOUS AND SASSY in it too.

I’m so blessed to be her granddaughter.

(If this photo had sound, it would be of her shrieking Ride’em cowgirl! with peels of laughter)

11. Crystalbrook Retreat.

Ahhhh, home.

We’ll be building our sanctuary out here in the next couple of years.

Green fields and mountain ranges of forest and birds and creeks and stones.

I’m looking forward to walking our crystal labyrinth there again.

Activating our crystal grid again.

And creating a medicine wheel.

And finding all the energy vortexes there.

And working with the energy of the land and the nature spirits.

And walking it, over and over.

It’s my holy land.

One day soon, I’ll be holding retreats there. And having teachers from all over the world there.

And have people living there in beautiful spiritual community.

Crystalbrook Retreat is my big dream come true.

12. My big brother Brett.

My friend Deb said to me once…

When I look in your brother’s eyes, I see Jesus.

And I know just what she means.

My brother is the apple of my eye. I adore adore adore him.

13. My beautiful sissy in law Sharne.

My brother’s gorgeous wife. She is just so beautiful inside and out.

I’m so grateful they found each other and fell in love.

I’m so grateful that we are going to be living near each other.

That we’ll have mama’s groups together.

That I’ll get to know her even more.

So, so, so blessed.

(And that I’ll get to meet the beautiful little Cancerian goddess that was still in her mama’s tummy last time I saw her!)

14. Ridiculously large bonfires. And the long nights talking around them.

15. When scenes like this are just normal.

Except usually there is more adult peoples in the tree as well.

I’ve been climbing this tree since I was tiny.

It’s bigger now, and so am I.

But still, it begs to be climbed.

16. My beautiful big sister.

Who is moving home from England the same week as us.

My Capricornian twin.

We are going to laugh stupidly and make big plans.

And sell cupcakes at markets.

Oh yes, we must.

17. I’ve already talked about the sunsets. But REALLY. Sunsets like the equivalent of a year’s worth of meditation to the soul. Amen.

18. Being close to this crazy mob again.

My family, my tribe.

19. Two words people:

TROPICAL PARADISE.

I look at this photo and I get teary, and my whole heart sings with:

Home, home, home.

20. Crappy photo, but that’s not the point.

Last time we were home, my Dad announces we need to go for a special drive.

So me and mama and sis and the doggy and our cousins jumped in the cars and followed him out up to the back paddock.

He’d decided to build a bonfire for us…

out of a fallen tree.

That was 30 metres long.

So we had a 30 metre long bonfire out there under the stars and the eucalypt trees beside the mountain.

And we took silly Cheese photos, and we made the fire even bigger, and my cousin turned into a hippy and decided to spot all the fire fairies.

(Evidence 1 of Cheese photos)

(Evidence 2 of Zorro Fire Fairy!)

And it was simple and perfect and earthy and holy.

And it’s the reason we are moving home.

I want to live like that again.

And I want Starry to know what it’s like to grow up like that too.

So that’s what we are doing.

I can’t say that I know all the answers. That I know if it will always be easy. That we know exactly how things will work out. Yes, we are making a change. Yes, we are leaving our safe little home and our comfortable little lifestyle here. Yes, there will be adjustments. Yes, family isn’t always easy peasy. Yes, in summer, it will be dang hot. Yes, Mr Hunky will be looking for new work. Yes, my beautiful goddess business will be supporting us. Yes, these are big big changes.

But I feel, deep in my bones, that this is the right way.

That this is the time, and this is the place to walk towards the life I want to lead.

To make big, beautiful, sweeping changes.

To know that whatever happens, we will be okay. We will work it out. We will make it loving and precious and true and good.

I believe in me. I believe in us. I believe in the redemptive power of going to the place you belong.

Hello, beautiful cliff.

Hello, Leap of Faith.

I love you, I love you, I love you,

Mama Goddess Asks: How do you heal mastitis?

Hola gorgeous goddesses!

I thought I’d start a new little series… One where I ask my mama goddess questions, and learn from you beautiful hearts. Once upon a time when we lived in tribes and villages, womens wisdom was shared everyday from generation to generation and mama to mama. Let’s bring it back! Hopefully this will become a storehouse of wisdom for any goddesses who need it in the future.

So! Today’s mama goddess question:

How do you heal mastitis?
And how do you support your body while on antibiotics?

Since Lil Mermaid was born, I’ve always had an over-abundant supply of milk. Which is wonderful (yay galactagogue herbs and raspberry leaf tea!) but it also means occasional engorgement, blocked ducts and now the biggun: mastitis.

(Please note you don’t have to have oversupply to get mastitis.)

What is mastitis?

Also, I’m totally aware that to anyone who hasn’t breastfed, this all sounds like: unicorn tree wackadoodle whatever. That’s what I translated working-boob talk to when I was still a fair maiden!

So I will try and explain stuff without acronyms and with simplicity. Simple = good.

Simply, mastitis is an infection of your boob tissue.

How do you know when you’ve got it?
You see a red rash over part of your boob.
Your boob gets engorged with milk and lumpy.
You can get cold and flu symptoms.
It starts getting super ouchies.

Me and mastitis

I’ve had blocked ducts a few times now, but I’ve always managed to clear them. I consult Susun Weed’s Herbal Healing for the Childbearing Year. I grate up raw potato and place it over the lumps. I drink echinacea tincture to keep infection at bay. I have hot showers and baths and massage massage massage. I get Starry to feed as much as possible. And they’ve always cleared.

This time it felt different though. I couldn’t find the place that started the blockage. And I just had a feeling it was the start of mastitis. I used all my usual tricks, and where usually I’m happy to leave it for a few days to clear up, I knew I needed to go see ze doctor for this one.

And here’s where divine timing came in:
I told Mr Hottie at 5pm on a Sunday that I needed to see the doctor the next day. I called the doctor’s office, and they had one for me that day – in half hour. Perfect! So we jumped in the car, drove over, and the cute old doctor promptly diagnosed mastitis and prescribed antibiotics. By the time we got out, it was ten minutes to six. There was one chemist this side of the city still open – but only until six. The doctor’s receptionist called to let them know we were coming. We dashed over and got there just as they closed all doors but one. I got my antibiotics and we headed home. It was Starry’s bedtime, and she began to cry, but I sang my bestest rendition of Eency Weency Spider, and the cries stopped. The whole way, my head was atwirl with Thank you great spirit. Thank you for taking care of me. Thank you for perfect timing. Thank you for the magical powers of Eency Weency Spider. Thank you, thank you. It felt entirely filled with grace and care.

So now I’m on antibiotics. I’m not in pain, thank great spirit!
But what I do want to continue doing is helping my boozwas heal, and also support my body while taking antibiotics. Echinacea, green smoothies, hot baths and OMG REST. Can you please keep reminding me to rest? Resting is not one of my superpowers… It’s one I keep learning over and over.

Your turn for sharesies…

So tell me dearest heart…
How do you heal mastitis?
And how do you support your body while on antibiotics?
Let me know in the comments!

big big love you!